So, I’ve been on this planet for 68 years. Been quite a few places and done some pretty crazy stuff. I went to Bates College in the fall of 1967. Correction, I went there in the summer of 1967 because I was eligible to play varsity football and I started on the last winning team that Bates has had. We won the CBB competition. I still have the belt buckle in my sock drawer to prove it. I was a tight end and linebacker. I played football one year and then went on to glory as a Nordic skier and jumper, having been recruited by Coach Flynn, who did double duty as a football coach and the Bates ski team coach. Oh, boy, where are we going?
So, while at Bates, I came to like that part of Maine that gets short shrift from the Down East Magazine people. I also happened to buy a beer bar with my roommate and a lobsterman from Bass Harbor. We all got to know downtown Lewiston really well. My fellow football teammates would help bring the quarters, beer was a quarter back then, every night to our dorm room to count the night’s sales. We sold the bar after a year. During that time, I also played defense on the Bates Hockey Club that played teams from the Lewiston/Auburn area Shoe Factory Hockey Teams, besides Colby and Bowdoin. We were always happy to come away from the Shoe Factory games with all our teeth and if we lost by less than 10 points, we considered it a win.
So why the reminiscing? Well there is something about Lewiston and Auburn that speaks to the America that I think about. It’s an area that is always in transition, kind of like the United States. It’s an area made stronger by unions and immigrants. It also happens to be the area that Jared Golden, Marine Corps vet, represents in Augusta. It’s working Maine, not vacationing Maine. It’s get done with the mills and come up with a new business model. It’s wake up and realize we have a job to do; get your coffee and get it done. It’s fix the river, welcome new families to the area, keep this ship on course. Jared knows all this stuff. He lives and breathes life in working Maine every day. He is not a banker, back-to-the-lander, vacation worshipper or tax consultant. He’s a young vet with a mission. His mission is to bring pride back to the position of congressman of the Second District. His mission is to not hide in the closet when your leader takes us into the dark. His mission is to bring us into the light and be proud once again in our country and our leaders. Jared may be a bit green, but that happens to be the color of the Marines and Maine. He’s the right person for a job that requires talking, not hiding, to the people you represent.